Dress Code

As a general rule, dress should reflect a spirit of modesty that is consistent with the Benedictine, Catholic and traditional culture here at Portsmouth Abbey School. Clothing should be neat and in good repair. Faculty members are the final judges of what constitutes appropriate dress.

School Dress: (Columbus Day Weekend through Spring Weekend, and at Sunday Mass)

School Dress is worn on every class day until the end of the School’s (not the student’s) last scheduled class, in all academic and administrative buildings, and the Church.

Boys Girls
Blazer or varsity sweater (worn, not carried) Collared dress shirt or turtleneck
Collared dress shirt or turtleneck Dress pants or skirt
Dress pants Dress
Tie Leather shoes
Leather shoes

Optional: Blazer or varsity sweater

Please note the following definitions and clarifications:

  • Blazer – This includes blazers and sport coats of any color. Blazers are worn to Sunday Mass all year.
  • Varsity Sweater – Varsity sweaters may be purchased through the Athletic Office only. Varsity jackets are not considered sweaters. Varsity sweaters are never permitted at Sunday Mass or Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation.
  • Dress pants – Dress pants include cotton, poly/cotton blends, wool, or wool blends.  Pants that are denim (any color), or have extra pockets (cargo style) are NOT permitted.  Leggings/Jeggings and tights are not considered dress pants. Capri or cropped pants are acceptable during Warm Weather Dress only.
  • Collared Dress Shirt – Dress shirts must button down the front and have a collar. Flannel or denim shirts are not permitted. Boys’ shirts must be tucked in and girls’ shirts must be neat, modest and buttoned appropriately.
  • Leather Shoes – Shoes must be leather and do not include slippers (or slipper-like moccasins). If shoes have laces, they must be tied.
  • Skirt – Skirts must be no shorter than 3 inches above the knee when standing straight. No denim.
  • Dress – Dresses must be no shorter than 3 inches above the knee when standing straight. Dresses must be  modest and completely cover both the shoulders and cleavage. T-shirts may not be worn with dresses. Strapless, spaghetti strap or halter top dresses are not allowed. Sweaters may be worn with a dress. No denim.
  • Grooming and Personal Adornments – Boys must be clean shaven. Piercings in visible areas other than the ears  are not allowed.


Warm Weather Dress: (Opening of School through Columbus Day, Spring Weekend through End of School)

Boys Girls
Collared dress shirt Collared dress shirt
Dress pants Dress pants, skirt, or dress
Leather shoes or sandals

Leather shoes or sandals

Spring Warm Weather Dress: (Announced sometime after Spring Weekend). Polo shirts may be worn at the discretion of the Headmaster.

Exam Dress: Exam Dress is Spring Warm Weather Dress.

Casual Dress: Casual Dress is permitted at lunch on Wednesdays and Saturdays, after the academic day on all other days, on the weekends and other free time. Casual Dress includes relaxed wear, sportswear or athletic wear that is modest and in good taste. Clothing may not have inappropriate or offensive images or innuendos, and may not depict or refer to drugs or alcohol. Hats may not be worn in any buildings other than the Houses, athletic buildings, and Student Center. Students must dress respectably in the dining hall at all times which includes covering the midriff and cleavage.